Partnership with Industry

Organizer:  Qun Gu, Department of Chemistry, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, 230 Scotland Rd, Edinboro, PA 16444, tel:  (814) 732 1510, Email:

This symposium featured speakers from both academia and industry who whose presentations focused on industry-academia partnerships and collaborations for chemical education and research programs/projects. The enhanced learning experience of undergraduate and/or graduate students as the outcome were also highlighted. 

The first speaker was Richard E. Partch, Sr, Senior University Professor at Chemistry Department of Clarkson University, NY, whose presentation title was Enhancing Chemical Education: Academic – Industry Collaboration. Dr. Partch talked about his experience of collaborating with 130 plus companies and many government agencies. The outcome of these collaborations led to the completion of over 200 Chemistry and Chemistry Engineering Student Projects/Theses. As Dr. Partch said, “The only pathway for academic chemists to achieve success in their profession is to partner with persons at government or industrial sources of funding”. This presentation also highlighted a few aspects of the presenter's background that led to the collaborations and how the projects enhanced student participant enthusiasm for chemistry as a career.

The second speaker was Annemarie D Ross, from Department of Science and Mathematics of Rochester Institute of Techonology/National Technical Institute for the Deaf. She talked about Benefits of Academic-Industrial Partnership for Chemical Technonogy Programs. Her presentation was co-authored with her colleague, Dr. Todd Pagano. The presenter talked about the successful implementation of the Laboratory Science Technology Program as a result of academia-industry collaboration. “Academia increased cooperative experiences for the students. Industry obtaied better prepared graduates entering the workforce”.

Dr. John S. Manka, the Global Department Manager of the R&D Chemical Synthesis Group at The Lubrizol Corporation, gave a presentation titled Talent and Technology – Academia as a Strategic Partner to Industry. Dr. Manka pointed out that industry and academia have “shared scientific goals, shared economic goals, and shared community goals”. The presenter showcased Lubrizol Corporation’s entire spectrum of collaboration with academia in a broad sense: partnering with elementary schools and high schools via venues such as Science Fairs and Programs and Science Teacher Awards; partnering with university undergraduate programs via Scholarships, Summer Intern Programs, and Co-ops; partnering with graduate schools via Industrial Post Docs and “University Contacts Program” (PhD Project Sponsorship and Students Work on Industry Specific Projects).

Dr. Carl Hultman, from Department of Chemistry at Gannon University discussed From Academia to Industry- Things to know for faculty starting up companies. The presenter talked about the basics of technology transfer and nuts-and bolts about the transition from a member of academia to one of the founders of a startup company in the industry. The speaker also covered topics such as fund raising, consulting resources, business plan, legal documentation, collaborating with colleagues at other departments within the university and with people in the industry and business world, as well as finding partners.

Sree Rayavarapu (doctoral student at Center for Genetic Medicine Research, Washington, DC) and Christine Jelinek (postdoctoral fellow in Robert Cotter’s Middle Atlantic Mass Spectrometry Lab at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD) presented their individual work in collaboration with Shimadzu Corporation. Dr. Faith Hays, Dr. Brian Field, and Ms Heather Juzwa from Shimadzu were involved in the collaboration. The presenters’ showcased the collaboration that “bring together the insight and creativity of academic researchers with the instrument development expertise of Shimadzu to build truly integrated partnerships that translate innovative research into powerful Life Science products and platforms that impact future discovery and increase diagnostic value.

The sixth speaker withdrew his presentation. So the organizer used this time block as a free form discussion session. The audience members had some conversations with the speakers, asking questions about their topics. Then the symposium resumed with the next speaker.

Dr. John C. Gebler, Director of Scientific Marketing of Waters Corporation, gave a talk titled Partners to Products. Dr. Gebler briefly introduced the history of partnership of Waters Corporation with the academia. He reported a comprehensive program that Waters developed for the characterization of biopharmaceuticals, as a result of collaboration with researchers in academia. Other examples were also introduced. As he remarked, Most of these have evolved from constructive collaborations where mutual benefits were identified.

This symposium had a nice pool of chemists representing both the industry and the academia, in which both the audience and the speakers felt that they had learned a lot.

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